Blogs

New Windows RDP 8 For Windows 8 and Windows 7 SP1

Microsoft has released a Remote Desktop Protocol for Windows 8 which is also included in Windows 7 Service Pack 1

The "Added Security" introduces a new warning level "A website is trying to start a remote connection" window which tends to override any previous settings.

If you have configured the TriSys Remote Desktop Login Tool to share local drives, then this new security feature overrides this setting and you must check the box "Drives" for this to still be active.

Yet another "Security Feature" adding more complexity and button pressing to a simple process.

 

Return of the Mainframe Era

I have written about this topic before - please click here to read my article published in Recruitment International magazine April 2008 edition. In that article I discussed cloud computing and how things had evolved up to that time.

In this short article, I want to bring things up to date now that almost 5 years have gone by.

During and after the second world war, the modern computing industry was born with code breaking machines and government sponsored initiatives (culminating in the internet via Darpa in the 80's) . This was followed by commercialisation of big mainframe computers by companies like IBM, Unisys and ICL in the 50's and 60's.

In the mainframe era, each company manufactured their own hardware and also designed and wrote their own operating system and application software to take advantage of their own hardware. Re-read this sentence - it is important later.

When the mini-computer industry was born in the 70's with machines like the PDP-11, hardware companies still made their own software such as operating systems, but allowed new 'software companies' to develop application software for these platforms. Software companies wrote applications for a variety of business uses, such as the Oracle database.

When the micro-computer industry was born in the 80's with the IBM PC kick-starting the industry, hardware companies used operating systems developed by software companies e.g. Digital Research CPM or Microsoft DOS so that these standard operating systems would attract other software companies to develop applications to help attract customers. Lotus was the most successful of these application software companies with their 1-2-3 spreadsheet.

Whilst software companies flourished, Moores law dictated that whilst the power of hardware would double every 18 months, the price would half in that time also. This meant it was very difficult for hardware only companies to be viable as we entered the 21st century.

Couple that with the rise of the internet and subsequent cloud computing, the IT industry was a very different beast to that in the 70's, 80's and 90's.

Now in 2013, Microsoft is rumoured to be buying DELL very soon. A couple of years back, Oracle bought Sun. Both Apple and Google build their own software and hardware.

Given that todays geo-cluster-clouds are comprised of effectively millions of computers, they are the mainframes of today. Millions of users today use the cloud computer mainframes of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple (and soon Oracle).

What does this mean? It means that the worlds biggest software companies are going to operate just like the worlds biggest mainframe companies of the 50's and 60's.

They want us to connect to their hardware and run their operating systems and use their application software.

They are also manufacturing client-side-devices such as phones, tablets and PC's, which also run their own software.

Who says history does not repeat itself?

Customise Your Outlook Ribbon To Have What You Use Easily Accessible

 

As a TriSys User did you know you can add short cuts to the Home Tab on the Ribbon in Outlook such as the CV Auto Recognition button or the Open Contact Record?  This will make it even quicker and easier to pull a CV in to TriSys or open a contact record from an e-mail you have just received.

Click here for instructions on how to customise the Outlook ribbon.

TriSys have other useful documents for frequently asked questions on both TriSys and Microsoft Office products available on our web site.

Click here to go to the Support Document page

 

Tidying Up The "G Drive"

At this time of year "A Tidy Up" of files can happen with our customers. However, the TriSys application can fail if files or folders are not where they are expected to be after the Tidy up.

These Are Main TriSys Version 7 and Version 8 Folders

ActionsV7 Contains Action template files
Back Office Contains Back Office files
CVArchive Contains Archived CVs
CVData Contains all CVs
Dashboard Contains Dashboard files
E-Mail Contains copies of emails processed to TriSys via Outlook
Exchange Export Holds history attachments for emails synchronized to TriSys
Formatted CVs Contains Formatted CV files
Help Contains Help Files
Icons Contains Icon files for TriSys
Images Contains image files
Incoming CVs Folder for Incoming CV Files
Ini Contains login configuration files for TriSys
Job Descriptions Contains any Job Description files
Macro Contains TriSys Word macro files
Multimedia Contains any Multimedia files
Setup Contains TriSys setup files
TriSysWeb Contains email templates for the TriSys web module

 

Please do not Move, Remove or Rename any of these folders

 

 

We would like to thank all of our customers for choosing to run their recruitment business through the TriSys Software Suite and look forward to the challenges for 2013.

Look Out For Version 10 Coming To A Desktop Near You.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Very Prosperous New Year

TriSys 10 Versions and Release Procedures

We are in a very busy period in the transitioning of the new TriSys version 10 recruitment software application from a starter-edition product to an enterprise level service. This blog post explains what we are doing, why and how. It provides further detail to our roadmap which was published in March 2012.

V10 SDK

We built the software development kit for version 10 in 2010 and have been enhancing this ever since. It is a full visual studio 2010 toolbox and framework for building .Net cloud based line of business (LOB) windows applications. This SDK is the basis for all version 10 software applications including our CRM application we use in-house for managing our sales & marketing, support ticketing, web site, cloud services, invoicing and accounts integration. We also used this SDK to build starter edition and are using it for enterprise too. Sophisticated recruitment agencies, and partners, are also using our SDK to build complex recruitment products and services.

V10 Starter Edition

This product was released to market in 2011 and is designed for startup recruitment agencies who require very basic front-office recruitment software functionality. This is an 'off-the-shelf' software application which is downloaded from the internet and installed on a windows PC. All data services are held in the cloud. The retail price is £50 per user per month. Starter edition is available on-demand only.

V10 Enterprise Edition

This product uses the enhanced SDK and starter edition as its core platform, however it is designed for mature recruitment agencies who wish to benefit from a full agency management system to orchestrate their entire recruitment activities from a powerful CRM/ERP packaged service. Enterprise edition is available both on-demand and on-premise. On-demand prices will be between £75 and £150 per user per month depending upon additional services required (e.g. remote desktop, e-mail, additional disk space, 3rd party integration etc..). On-premise pricing will be between £750 and £995 per license. We will be going live with a number of enterprise customers in Q1 2013, after which this product will be officially available to all customers.

V10 ASP/Remote Desktop

Existing V8 ASP customers will be able to start using V10 at the end of Q1 2013 when it is made available on TriSys remote desktops. Existing customers with Microsoft Office on their PC are also be able to choose to use the V10 smart client, obviating the need to use RDP, and saving money whilst increasing performance.

V10 Release Procedure

We are agressively releasing updates to V10 which are automatically installed on startup. We are documenting all enhancements in our release notes, as well as showing some new features on our YouTube channel. Our approach is to release often; every day during busy periods. Our automated build system ensures that we are able to quickly test enhancements and deliver these to our cloud systems for rapid deployment to our customers. In 2013, this will enable us to support our large customer base as they all transition to V10 from legacy versions of TriSys.

Traceroute - A Great Diagnostic Tool On Every PC and MAC

Traceroute or “Tracert” is a command line utility that measures the speed and the route that the data takes to a reach a destination server.

Traceroute will send several test data packets to the destination server and will record each router that it goes throughand the time it takes to reach the destination server.

Each router can be owned by a different network provider.

Each router is known as a “Hop” and the data will have to go through many “Hops” on its journey to the destination server.

Traceroute is a useful tool for diagnosing network problems, most often speed issues. 

For example, if your remote desktop is slow to respond, then it might mean that there is a network problem somewhere between you and the desktop. 

Browsing may be fine, but because the amount of traffic flow is substantially different to that of a web browser, and the route taken will be different, this may not be a clear indication that all is well with the line connection to your desktop.

Open a Command Prompt window

From your local PC, NOT the remote desktop, open a Command Prompt window to use the “tracert” command.

This is also available for Mac users in the Terminal.

The process is slightly different depending upon which version of Windows you are using.

Windows Vista and Windows 7

 

 

All other versions of Windows

Click Start, then Run. A new text box will appear. Enter cmd into this box and click OK.

 

 

Example

This example will demonstrate how to perform a “tracert” for services.trisysglobal.com and explain the output that you will see.

To perform a trace open a Command Prompt window as above, and enter the following, and press <enter> on your keyboard.

tracert services.trisysglobal.com

The trace may take a few moments to complete.

 

C:\>tracert services.trisysglobal.com

Tracing route to services.trisysglobal.com [79.125.118.112]...

1    	<1ms   <1ms   <1ms   61.d3.5446.static.theplanet.com [70.84.211.97]
2    	20ms   20ms   20ms   po101.dsr02.dllstx5.networklayer.com [70.87.254.5]	
3    	19ms   19ms   19ms   po52.dsr02.dllstx3.networklayer.com [70.85.127.109]
4    	19ms   19ms   20ms   ae17.bbr02.eq01.dal03.networklayer.com [173.192.18.230]
5    	29ms   24ms   25ms   dls-bb1-link.telia.net [80.239.195.177]
6    	24ms   21ms   21ms   nyk-bb2-link.telia.net [213.155.130.208]
7    	29ms   19ms   19ms   ldn-bb2-link.telia.net [213.155.135.66]
8    	22ms   21ms   22ms   dln-b2-link.telia.net [80.91.247.69]
9    	25ms   25ms   27ms   amazon-ic-150369-dln-b2.c.telia.net [80.239.167.146]
10     32ms   31ms   31ms   [178.236.0.208]	
11     33ms   32ms   31ms   [178.236.0.213]	
12     33ms   32ms   32ms   ec2-79-125-0-139.eu-west-1.compute.amazonaws [79.125.0.139]
13    *   *	*	 		
14    *   *	*
15    *   *	*		Request Timed Out
16    *   *	*		Request Timed Out

What does the output mean?

There are 5 columns.

  • Hop Count
  • Three packets of data columns
  • Name of the router and ipaddress

1 <1ms <1ms <1ms 61.d3.5446.static.theplanet.com [70.84.211.97]

Traceroute will actually send three packets of data, and measure the time taken for each. 

At hop 1 you can see that each packet took less than a millisecond, (<1 ms ) This is normally your local network and Internet router. You would expect any packet on your local network to take less than 1 millisecond to reach your router.

You can see that the server at hop 1 is called 61.d3.5446.static.theplanet.com, and its address on the Internet is 70.84.211.97.

We have seen slowness happen when anything greater than 40-50ms is seen at multiple hops

A real customer trace was recently taken recently when slowness on the desktop was seen.

(Addresses have been removed to protect the customer location)

 

Tracing route to services.trisysglobal.com [79.125.118.112] over a maximum of 20 hops: 
1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 Local.Router 
2   303 ms   308 ms   309 ms  
3   390 ms   354 ms   367 ms  
4   265 ms   375 ms   405 ms  
5   384 ms   357 ms   343 ms  
6   291 ms   341 ms   411 ms  
7   448 ms   549 ms   287 ms 
8   123 ms    79 ms   223 ms  
9   348 ms   367 ms   373 ms  
10   464 ms   495 ms   546 ms  
11   408 ms   473 ms   287 ms  
12   401 ms   421 ms   435 ms  
13   501 ms   585 ms   525 ms  
14   309 ms   277 ms   190 ms  
15   663 ms   527 ms   372 ms  ec2-79-125-0-4.eu-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com [79.125.0.4] 
16     *        *        *     Request timed out.
17     *        *        *     Request timed out.
18     *        *        *     Request timed out.
19     *        *        *     Request timed out.
20     *        *        *     Request timed out.

As you can see the 1st hop is the internal router (less than 1 millisecond) and then the lag on each hop indicates a line issue.

 

What does Request timed out mean?

Hop number 16 onwards shows no response or “Request timed out”

 This is because the server at those hops is not accepting Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) traffic. As this is what traceroute uses to get the results. 

A Request timed out message is usually nothing to worry about, as many network providers may disable ICMP traffic.

 

Destination net unreachable

Traceroute can detect if a packet has been stopped on the network. If this occurs you will see the error Destination net unreachable. This error is often caused by a misconfiguration in someone’s router settings, or an IP address that doesn't exist.

 

You can use “tracert” to diagnose line connection issues by running the command as described above or by downloading our “trace,bat” file, which will run this command and output to a test file for you.

http://www.trisys.co.uk/support/documents/downloads/trace.zip

Unzip the contents to your LOCAL PC’s desktop NOT TRISYS and run, the output filename is “trace.txt”.

Announcing the TriSys SDK

We began developing the next generation of cloud enabled recruitment software in 2010 - version 10. In the two years since commencing this groundbreaking project, we have completely re-engineered our technology by building a recruitment software development kit (SDK) using the Microsoft .Net Framework as its foundation.

Our SDK is a suite of tools which are completely integrated into Microsoft Visual Studio, and they provide a robust framework to quickly build cloud enabled recruitment software functionality using advanced point and click smart tags. Developers are able to work alongside designers to write business logic code in C# or Visual Basic and use the full intellisense and debugging capabilities of Visual Studio.

The current version of TriSys is actually built using this same SDK. This is the ultimate in 'eating our own dogfood' and we are now making this SDK available to customers and partners to build their own advanced fully cloud enabled recruitment software systems.

Please click here to learn more about the TriSys SDK.

Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface

This week, TriSys took delivery of one of the first Microsoft Surface tablets to ship in the UK. Please follow this link to the TV advert currently being broadcast on national television.

Surface is a touch screen device, with a magnetic snap keyboard, and runs a brand new operating system from Microsoft called Windows RT. The RT moniker could stand for 'run-time' however this is not an official acronym. Windows RT is design for computers/tablets which use an ARM (here in Cambridge, UK) designed chip, which are the types of chips which power most mobile devices today such as smart phones and tablets.

Windows RT has two distinct personalities - the Modern UI (previously called Metro) is a tile based interface used in Windows 7 Phones. These tiles are live - meaning that they are automatically updated with content for example the number of new e-mails, or a change in stock price. Apps can be purchased and downloaded from the Windows Store and they will install onto the modern UI as new tiles. Stroking your finger horizontally from the right edge of the screen exposes the 'charms' - a context sensitive set of options for each application. Stroking your finger horizontally from the left edge of the screen switches between the running applications.

The second personality is the traditional windows desktop. This can be selected by choosing the Desktop tile and looks very similar to Windows 7. This is where traditional non-Microsoft Windows applications are designed run, however not on Windows RT. This desktop will only run traditional non-Microsoft Windows applications when running the professional version of Windows 8 which is designed for use on non-ARM chipsets i.e. Intel and AMD.

Microsoft has provided preview editions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote which run on the Surface desktop and can connect to cloud files stored in SkyDrive.

We were able to get TriSys running on Surface by connecting through to our remote desktop services and am pleased to report that this is automatically touch enabled on the Surface tablet.

My conclusion is that the Surface is a very capable competitor to the iPad. There are certain advantages over the iPad:

  • Synchronisation of Google contacts and calendars does not require trickery
  • Entering contacts into Mail does proper lookup of your contacts, not recipient history
  • Plays more videos than iPad which supports less video formats
  • Skype integration is superb - can call or text directly from contacts
  • Microsoft Office apps
  • Netflix is a great experience with very high quality video

These are the drawbacks:

  • Fewer apps that iOS and Android
  • No native YouTube, Twitter or BBC iPlayer applications
  • Unable to use cloud storage from other vendors - it insists on SkyDrive
  • Xbox music and video is buggy

Overall, I prefer the Surface to iPad and the Kindle Fire HD. The Modern UI (Metro) is better than iOS and Android, although switching between this and Desktop may confuse some users.

Surface and Windows 8 are very credible products from Microsoft and puts them back into the tablet war, although well behind iPad and Android tablets, but much closer to them than previous Windows 7 tablets. Time will see Microsoft close the gap between itself and the tablet industry leaders and Surface is the start of this process.

Project Apex: Part 10

The last few weeks has seen enormous activity in the web development group, as they tackled ths most challenging aspect of TriSys - providing run-time form designing of complex business forms. Whilst this is a tough enough engineering exercise in a traditional windows application, it is much more difficult to do this in a web browser using HTML, Ajax and CSS.

We started off by utilising multiple nested splitters to allow the designer to draw field regions as shown below:

We then progressed to provide draggable and dockable field boxes which could be positioned and docked inside any splitter region:

In order to allow designers to create the splitter layout, we wrote components for splitter design:

We are now working on bringing the SDK toolbox into the browser based form designer to allow true drag/drop business form design.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 2013:

Apex was put on-hold because browser technology is not yet performant or reliable enough for an industrial strength line of business application - take a look at todays competing browser CRM systems - they simply do not come close to the reliability, speed, extensibility and functionality of TriSys desktop solutions or TriSys delivered as a remote desktop via an HTML5 web browser. It is likely that this project will be resurrected in 2014 when the TriSys Web API and Mobile V2 technologies are completed and browser innovations improve todays issues.

Project Apex: Part 9

Last week we introduced the flexible declarative grid which allows developers/designers to simply declare a SQL statement and column layout to gain full grid functionality such as population, paging, sorting, grouping and filtering. It is also hyperlinkable with fingers on touch devices such as iPad and iPhone.

This week we have standardised the modal dialogues using jquery style popups. This is the user options dialogue which is opened after clicking the ribbon button:

This dialogue can be moved around the screen thus mimicking the windows forms approach used in windows desktop applications.

This form is invoked from a powerful Javascript client-side function:

openModalPopupClientSideFromJavascript("User Options",
                                        "~/ModalDialogues/UserOptions.aspx", 
                                        "~/Images/16x16/UserOptions.ico", 
                                        520, 600);

 

We have also added AJAX style client-side waiting animations to the login process to let the end-user know that an operation is in progress:

Typically login will take only a few seconds, but it is important to let the end-user know that something is happening at all times.


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